How did WWF afford to pay Mike Tyson when they couldn't afford Bret Hart - Wrestling Forum : WWE, TNA, Debate League, Wrestling Videos, Women of Wrestling Forums
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Old 04-01-2014, 09:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How did WWF afford to pay Mike Tyson when they couldn't afford Bret Hart

This turned out to be the turning point in WWE, when they signed Mike Tyson in late 1997/Early 1998 to do a few shows and be in Wrestlemania XIV. The media coverage was huge and the ratings started going through the roof.

However in September 1997, Vince Mcmahon went to Bret Hart and said he was releasing him from his contract because he couldn't afford him, and told him to go to WCW.

Mike Tyson was paid around 3 Million Dollars for his time in WWE, did Vince just use the money from Bret's contract as well as Bulldog and Anvil who left WWE with Bret to pay for Mike Tyson?

If he couldn't afford Bret and WCW was driving him out of business, how did he afford Tyson?

It seems that was an excuse as he saw that Bret & Shawn could not co-exist at that time, and Vince always feared Shawn going to WCW, which is why he bent over backwards for Michaels, and went out of his way to put him over on Commentary.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did WWF afford to pay Mike Tyson when they couldn't afford Bret Hart

I don't think he "couldn't afford to pay Bret" it was more of not being stupid and offering Bret the massive money WCW was offering.

With the Tyson situation, he was desperate and pulled out all the stops to get the viewers back to watching WWF at the time.

that's just my take on it.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did WWF afford to pay Mike Tyson when they couldn't afford Bret Hart

Different times.

The WWF was paying Bret $1 Million per year and they signed him to a 20 year deal. He would have made $1 Million for X # of years, then $500K, The 250K as a road agent.

About 6 months before Bret left the WWE was hurting for money. A month before Bret left they were not and Vince told Bret he could honor his 20 year deal. But Vince advised that the WCW deal was too good to turn down. Bret would make about $9.3 million in 3 years in WCW. I think I read somewhere it would have taken him 14 years to make that amount with the WWF.

So Bret took the money and ran with Vince packing his bags.


Tyson was worth the PPV Buys and the Media Attention that bumped up the buys for WM. Bret was NEVER a DRAW outside of Canada... Not even overseas like everyone tries to paint him as.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did WWF afford to pay Mike Tyson when they couldn't afford Bret Hart

Its not the fact the Vince could not afford Bret, it is the fact that he beleived that Bret was not Worth the price, and would not get enought return on invest, while spending that Money on Tyson (who were/Are lgithyears of a bigger star than Bret ever was, got Vince the main stream exposure he wanted and needed in order to get a comeptitive advantage and to show hte World his product was better than their competitors (WCW, ECW)
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did WWF afford to pay Mike Tyson when they couldn't afford Bret Hart

I heard they had to raise the money to pay Tyson.. maybe they loaned it or something.
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Old 04-01-2014, 10:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did WWF afford to pay Mike Tyson when they couldn't afford Bret Hart

Bret Hart had a 20 years contract with the WWF, that he had just signed the year prior. Vince being in the financial crisis he was in, back in 1997 felt that Bret had already peaked and that his character was in decline(I think Bret was like 41 at the time). Feeling that Bret character wasn't as marketable as it used to be, Vince told Bret it would be best if he went to WCW and go after the offer that they originally offered him (WCW offered Bret $9 million back in 1996, but Bret declined it and signed the 20 year deal with WWF).

It wasn't a case that Vince couldn't afford Bret, it was that he didn't want to, because he felt Bret didn't deserved that much due to the decline in his character and the fact that he was past his prime. Mike Tyson on the other hand was a household name (a Mega-star you can call him) who was an icon in the Boxing industry and pop culture. So when the opportunity came to bring in Mike Tyson, I'm sure Vince did hesitate at all to throw cash at him, with the hope Tyson could pull a miracle and save the WWF.
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Old 04-01-2014, 01:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did WWF afford to pay Mike Tyson when they couldn't afford Bret Hart

Vince lied. Surprise, surprise!

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Old 04-01-2014, 01:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did WWF afford to pay Mike Tyson when they couldn't afford Bret Hart

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vic Capri View Post
Vince lied. Surprise, surprise!

- Vic
That's what I've always believed. Bret signed the 20 year deal in 1996 and sometime in 1997 (as Bret's book outlines really well) Vince approached him about not having the finances to fulfill their contract and eventually encouraged Bret to negotiate with WCW. However, once Bret began negotiating and damn near had a deal in place, Vince came to him and mysteriously said the financial problems had solved themselves and he could afford to pay Bret now. Yeah, within a span of 1 or 2 months? Sounds like total bullshit on Vince's part.
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Old 04-01-2014, 07:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did WWF afford to pay Mike Tyson when they couldn't afford Bret Hart

Without speculating on Bret's situation because quite frankly nobody really knows I would assume that Vince had the 3 million even before discussing letting Bret go.

WWF was losing the war but still doing well in the ratings and wrestling was still hot. Vince probably took a big risk with the 3 million but I think he could afford to lose it as well.

Fortunately for him it worked and Tyson solidified Austin as a star leading to a WWF win in the Wars. I think they bring Tyson in regardless of Bret though.
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Old 04-01-2014, 08:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How did WWF afford to pay Mike Tyson when they couldn't afford Bret Hart

I remember reading the increase to PPV prices steadied the ship on WWE's finances
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